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Class Action Litigation 2016

Speaker(s): David G. Keyko, Georgene M. Vairo, Gregory A. Markel, Hon. Garrett E. Brown, John Kehoe, Keith M. Fleischman, Maeve L. O'Connor, Robert P. DeWitte, Sharon Robertson
Recorded on: Jul. 7, 2016
PLI Program #: 149679

Chief Judge Brown joins the JAMS panel after a distinguished judicial and legal career. Most recently, he served twenty-six years as United States District Judge for the District of New Jersey, the last six as Chief Judge, where he led the court-wide effort to provide prompt, efficient justice to civil litigants, and to implement new local patent rules. During this period, he was designated by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation to manage countless MDL cases, which resulted in numerous settlements. Prior to appointment to the federal judiciary, he served as Chief Counsel and Acting Administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration and as General Counsel of the U.S. Government Printing Office. He was previously in private practice, where he concentrated on federal commercial litigation, including antitrust, employment, construction, environmental, banking, intellectual property, and securities matters. 

Judge Brown is highly regarded by counsel for his exceptional ability to expeditiously handle and resolve complex litigation. He is perceived by the parties as being extremely well prepared, knowledgeable, and experienced.

ADR Experience and Qualifications

  • During his 26 years on the federal bench, Chief Judge Brown has presided over and resolved by settlement, trial, or judgment some 9,000 cases involving a wide range of issues.

Representative Matters

During his service as Chief Judge, in addition to leading a large metropolitan court of 38 judicial officers, Judge Brown maintained a full civil caseload, assisting other judges in complex cases, trying about 11 cases a year and settling many, many more. He was also designated by the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation to manage numerous MDL cases during this period, which resulted in numerous settlements. Since many of the most challenging matters Judge Brown has handled are subject to confidentiality orders, the names and details are not set forth.

A small sampling of his representative matters includes:

  • Class Actions
    • ERISA: Presided over a class action dispute brought by participants in a Long Term Savings Plan for Management Employees for compensation for losses related to breach of ERISA-mandated duties in the operation and administration of the Plan and granted preliminary and final approval of the $29 million settlement
    • Securities Fraud
      • Presided over a trial in a securities fraud class action, which resulted in settlement prior to verdict at Judge Brown’s recommendation; settlement upheld on appeal to the Third Circuit
      • Presided over and approved the final settlement of the class action alleging violations of the Securities Act against former officers and directors of a now defunct generic drug manufacturer
    • Antitrust
      •  Presided over a consolidated matter involving a putative class of title insurance purchasers that alleged injuries as a result of a price-fixing conspiracy by insurance providers

Background and Education

  • Judge, United States District Court, District of New Jersey, 1986-2012 (Chief Judge, 2005-2012)








Civil Rights

Class Action/Mass Torts




Federal Judge

Governmental/Public Agency

Health Care


Intellectual Property

Pharmaceuticals/Mass Tort



New York, New York

Available to hear cases nationwide.

For a complete bio see

David Keyko is a partner in the law firm's Litigation practice and is located in the New York office. His practice has focused on major, complex litigation, often involving multiple parties. He has handled cases involving allegations of securities or other types of fraud, antitrust violations, ethics issues and trusts and estates issues across the country, often involving insurance coverage issues. He has conducted internal investigations and represented clients responding to government probes. He has also served as an expert witness in connection with legal malpractice litigation. Among the prominent cases Mr. Keyko has handled was the representation of a defendant in a $1.4 billion antitrust lawsuit.

Mr. Keyko was named the "New York City Best Lawyers Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Lawyer of the Year" for 2012, 2017 and 2019. He has lectured and written widely on securities, antitrust, legal ethics and general litigation topics, and chairs PLI's programs on federal pretrial practice and ethics for corporate lawyers. He is a former columnist for the New York Law Journal and has written several dozen articles on litigation and ethics issues for such publications as the National Law Journal.

Mr. Keyko has undertaken a variety of pro bono projects, including representing for over 20 years a death row inmate in Alabama asserting that the inmate is innocent of the crime for which he was convicted, serving as Chair of the Board of Mobilization for Justice Legal Services, Inc., and serving two terms as a member of the Departmental Disciplinary Committee of the First Department. He was Chairman of the Professional Responsibility Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He chaired the ad hoc committee of the Association that commented on proposed SEC regulations under Section 307 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. He is currently a trustee of the Association and is the chair of the ABA Legal Referral and Information Service Committee.

Mr. Keyko is a member of Pillsbury's Sarbanes-Oxley Committee, Opinions Committee and Professional Responsibility Committee. He is an adjunct professor at the Fordham University School of Law where he teaches legal ethics.

Georgene Vairo teaches and writes in the areas of mass tort litigation, class actions, international dispute resolution, federal practice and jurisdiction.   She has written Rule 11 Sanctions and the chapters on removal jurisdiction, venue, and multidistrict litigation in Moore’s Federal Practice.  In addition to dozens of articles about federal practice and procedure, including most recently Is the Class Action Really Dead? Is that Good or Bad for Class Members?, 64 Emory L.J. 477 (2014);  Lessons Learned by the Reporter: Is Disaggregation the Answer to the Asbestos Mess?, 88 Tulane L. Rev. 1039 (2014) ; and What Goes Around, Comes Around; From the Rector of Barkway to Knowles, 32 Univ. Texas Rev. of Litig. 721 (2013), she has published The Complete CAFA:  Analysis and Developments Under the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (LEXIS 2011), and The Federal Courts Jurisdiction and Venue Clarification Act of 2011: Analysis and Case Law Developments (LEXIS 2013).

Professor Vairo served on the Board of Trustees of the Dalkon Shield Claimants Trust, and as its Chairperson. As Chair, she worked to develop systems for distributing over $3 Billion dollars to over 200,000 claimants.  She serves on the editorial board of Moore's Federal Practice, and is the author of two volumes of the Treatise.  She also is a member of the Rand Corporation’s Institute for Civil Justice Board of Overseers, and is a member of the American Law Institute.  In 2013, she was appointed Reporter to the ABA TIPS Task Force on Asbestos Litigation.  She has participated in numerous academic conferences, has lectured widely to the bench and bar at numerous programs of various national and local associations and institutes, and has served as an expert in complex civil litigation cases.

Professor Vairo received her B.A. from Sweet Briar College in Economics, and an M.Ed., with Distinction, in Social Studies from the University of Virginia.  She graduated first in her class from Fordham University School of Law.  She then served as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph M. McLaughlin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (then U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York); practiced antitrust law with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom; and taught at Fordham University School of Law, where she also served for 8 years as Associate Dean.  She joined the Loyola Law School faculty in 1995.

Professor Vairo serves as the Vice Chair of and on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of Sweet Briar College, and as Vice President and on the Executive Committee of the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara; she has won national and California bicycle road race and criterion championships; loves sailing, trail running, her golden retrievers, and growing vegetables when it rains in California.

John A. Kehoe is currently Of Counsel to Pomerantz LLP where he is currently litigating on behalf of certified class representatives in In re Petrobras Securities Litigation, 14-cv-9662 (JSR), pending before Hon. Jed. S. Rakoff in the Southern District of New York.

Mr. Kehoe previously served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous securities and financial fraud cases in federal and state courts on behalf of institutional and individual clients, including In re Bank of America Corporation Securities Litigation ($2.4 billion settlement); In re Wachovia Preferred Securities and Bond/Notes Litigation ($627 million settlement); In re Initial Public Offering Securities Litigation ($586 million settlement resolving  309 consolidated  actions); In re Lehman Brothers Securities and ERISA Litigation ($516 million settlement); and In re Marvell Technology Group Ltd. Securities Litigation ($72 million settlement).

Mr. Kehoe is a program faculty member with the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and previously served as an  adjunct faculty member with  the Trial  Advocacy Training  Program at Louisiana State University School of Law.

Prior to joining Pomerantz, Mr. Kehoe was a partner with Girard Gibbs LLP and Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP representing institutional investors in securities class and direct actions, and was previously associated with Clifford Chance LLP, a London-based law firm where he represented Fortune 500 companies in securities and antitrust civil litigation, and enforcement actions brought by the Department of Justice, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Mr. Kehoe is a frequent speaker at conferences focused on shareholder rights and corporate governance issues, including the 2013 National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (Rancho Mirage, CA); 2013 Investment Education Symposium (New Orleans, LA); 2013 Public Funds East Conference (Newport, RI); 2012 Rights and Responsibilities for Institutional Investors (Amsterdam, Netherlands); 2011 European Investment Roundtable (Stockholm, Sweden); 2011 Public Funds Symposium (Washington, D.C.); 2011 National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (Miami Beach, FL); 2010 ESG, USA Global Trends and U.S. Sustainable Investing (NY, NY); 2010 ICGN Annual Conference: "The Changing Global Balances" (Toronto, Canada); 2010 Public Funds West Summit (Scottsdale, AZ); 2009 ICGN Annual Conference: “The Route Map to Reform and Recovery” (Sydney, Australia); and the 2007 European Pensions Symposium (Marbella, Spain).

Mr. Kehoe received his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law, was an associate editor of the Syracuse Law Review, associate member of the Syracuse Moot Court Board and alternate member on the National Appellate Team. He received a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Vermont and Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University. Prior to attending law school, Mr. Kehoe served as a law enforcement officer in the State of Vermont where he was a member of the Special Reaction Team.

Mr. Kehoe is admitted to practice in the State of New York, State of Pennsylvania, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Keith M. Fleischman, is a nationally recognized litigator and trial lawyer having successfully investigated, litigated and tried to verdict some of the largest and most complex civil and criminal cases in the country.  Keith is currently the principal at Fleischman Law Firm, PLLC, a litigation boutique he founded in Manhattan over six-years ago.  Keith’s practice presently focuses on representing public and private companies, financial institutions, and institutional and individual investors in connection with the prosecution and defense of complex financial and commercial litigation on a national scale.

Keith began his legal career with the Bronx District Attorney’s Office. In 1988, Keith joined the United States Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section as a trial lawyer. During his tenure, he supervised international undercover operations involving counterfeiting, money laundering and passport fraud. As a member of the Dallas Bank Fraud Task Force, he successfully tried to verdict several of the largest criminal prosecutions brought by the government during the Savings and Loan Crisis, including serving as the chief federal prosecutor in a two year investigation that culminated in a four month trial.

In 1990, Keith accepted a position as an Assistant United States Attorney in the District of Connecticut, where he was in charge of financial fraud, originated the Connecticut Bank Fraud Working Group and was a member of the New England Bank Fraud Task Force Coordinating Committee. As an AUSA, he successfully investigated and prosecuted major financial, violent and white-collar violations.

After leaving the government, Keith spent eleven years at the national plaintiffs’ firm Milberg, Weiss, where he rose to Senior Managing Partner and established himself as one of the premier plaintiffs’ lawyers in the country. During this period, Keith litigated and negotiated to settlement numerous high profile individual and class actions. Prior to founding the Fleischman Law Firm in 2011, Keith served as a Director in the New York office of Grant & Eisenhofer, litigating high profile complex lawsuits including class actions.

Keith has been a trial practice instructor at the Trial Practice Institute of the U.S. Justice Department, and served for ten years as co-chairman of the Practicing Law Institute’s annual conference on class actions. He has lectured in the United States, Canada and Europe on the investigation, litigation and prevention of securities and financial fraud.

Maeve O’Connor is a litigation partner whose practice focuses on securities litigation, shareholder litigation and complex commercial matters.  She represents public and private companies as well as their boards and officers in high stakes litigation and regulatory matters around the country.  She is Co-Chair of the firm’s Securities Litigation Practice and she spent six years as a member of the firm’s Management Committee.

Maeve is recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 US. She is also recognized as a "Litigation Star" and as one of the "Top 250 Women in Litigation" in the IFLR Benchmark Litigation Guide.  She is a co-author of Takeovers: A Strategic Guide to Mergers & Acquisitions (Wolters Kluyer Law & Business).

Prior to joining Debevoise, Maeve served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable H. Lee Sarokin, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. Ms. O’Connor received her J.D. from Yale Law School and her B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Greg Markel is chairman of the Litigation Department of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s New York office, is Co-Chair of the national Securities Litigation Practice, and is a member of the National Litigation Leadership Team.  Greg is a nationally known trial lawyer with vast experience in securities litigation, directors and officers defense, mergers and acquisition litigation, corporate governance litigation and antitrust litigation, particularly in bet your company cases.

He is a recognized leader in the profession.  He has for years been highly ranked by Chambers for Securities Litigation.  He was named by Best Lawyers as M&A Litigation, Lawyer of the Year, for 2018 as well as currently a leading lawyer in Securities, Antitrust and Commercial Litigation.  LawDragon magazine recently inducted Mr. Markel into its Hall of Fame and recognized Mr. Markel as a “legend” and one of only 50 lawyers and judges in the legal profession in the United States who was named to the Law Dragon 500 for 10 consecutive years.  He has also been recognized by many other publications including by Benchmark as a national Litigation Star, for outstanding performance by Best Lawyer’s in America, Legal 500 Leading Commercial Litigators, “Best in Class” in the legal profession by, Marquis’ Who’s Who for a Lifetime Achievement Award, Super Lawyers, The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators and many others.  Prior to joining Seyfarth, Mr. Markel was Chair of the Litigation Department and Chair of the Securities Litigation Group for 12 years at Cadwalader.

Greg is a graduate of Yale Law School, the University of Michigan with an MBA in Finance and Columbia College.  He is Chairman of the Center for Corporate Governance at the New York County Lawyers Association.

He is a member of the Business Law, Litigation and Antitrust sections of the American Bar Association; the Federal Bar Council; the Securities Industry Association – Compliance & Legal Division, and the New York State Bar Association – Commercial Litigation Section.  He frequently speaks on panels and writes on a range of topics, such as securities litigation, director’s and officer’s liability, commercial litigation, accountants’ defense, law firm management and Internet litigation.  He has been a winner of the prestigious Burton Award for Distinguished Legal Writing in 2018, 2016 and 2007.

Robert brings expertise in all types of class action litigation to KCC. As Vice President of Class Action Services, Robert helps guide the strategic direction of the business development team in implementing
initiatives that foster client relationships and ensure clients receive professional level service.

As part of these duties, Robert consults with clients at all stages of class action litigation, from prior to class certification through final approval of a class action settlement.

As a former class action attorney in Chicago, Robert represented plaintiffs in a wide array of class action litigation, including the In re DVI Securities Litigation. In the course of this experience, he litigated and argued class action cases at the trial and appellate levels in state and federal court.

Robert is Lead Editor of the KCC Class Action Digest, a monthly publication distributed to a wide range of KCC class action clients and prospects. He is a frequent speaker at class action industry events and a frequent contributor to various class action publications, including the ABA’s Class Action and Derivative Suits committee newsletter, Law360, and others. Robert regularly provides CLE programs on class action notice and settlement administration. Additionally, he is a past Chair of the Chicago Bar Association’s Class Action Committee, and currently serves as its Membership Coordinator.

Robert received a joint Juris Doctor and Master of Public Administration degree from Indiana University where he served as Notes and Comments Editor for the Indiana Law Journal. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University in History and Criminal Justice where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and ran varsity track and cross country.

Sharon Robertson is a Partner at Cohen Milstein and a member of the Antitrust practice group.

Ms. Robertson has been repeatedly recognized for her success in leading complex, multi-district antitrust litigation. In 2018, the American Antitrust Institute honored her with its prestigious “Outstanding Antitrust Litigation Achievement by a Young Lawyer” award for her role in securing one of the largest recoveries by end-payors in a federal generic suppression case in more than a decade.  Similarly, The Legal 500 selected her as a “Next Generation Lawyer” (2017 and 2018), an honor bestowed upon only 10 lawyers under 40 years old across the country, who are positioned to become leaders in their respective fields. Likewise, The New York Law Journal recognized her as a Rising Star (2018) – one of only twenty individuals selected to receive this honor. In addition, Benchmark Litigation selected Ms. Robertson for inclusion on its “40 & Under Hot List” (2018) and Law360 named her as one of five “Rising Stars” (2018) in the field of competition law whose “professional accomplishments belie their age”, as did Super Lawyers (2014-2016). Ms. Robertson has also been recognized by Law360 as one of a few female litigators to secure leadership roles in high-profile MDLs, such as In re Lidoderm Antitrust Litigation, (March 16, 2017). 

Ms. Robertson is spearheading the firm’s efforts in cutting-edge and industry-defining pay-for-delay pharmaceutical antitrust lawsuits, which allege that the defendant brand manufacturer entered into non-competition agreements with generic manufacturers in order to delay entry of lower-priced generic products. Ms. Robertson also heads up the firm’s generic price-fixing cases, which allege that certain generic drug manufacturers conspired to inflate the prices of generic drug products.  These cases come on the heels of a government investigation led by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging similar conduct, which, while ongoing, has already resulted in indictments and guilty pleas.

In addition to leading complex MDLs, Ms. Robertson is an accomplished trial lawyer. She served as a trial team member in two of the largest antitrust cases tried to verdict, including In re Urethanes Antitrust Litigation, where the jury returned a $400 million verdict, which was trebled by the Court, as required by antitrust law, to $1.06 billion, resulting in the largest price-fixing verdict in U.S. history, as well as In re Nexium Antitrust Litigation, the first pharmaceutical antitrust case to go to trial following the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in FTC v. Actavis, 570 U.S. 756 (2013).

Ms. Robertson co-chairs the firm’s Professional Development and Mentoring Committee and serves on the firm’s Diversity Committee. She is also an active member of the Executive Committee for the Antitrust Section of the New York State Bar Association.

While attending law school, Ms. Robertson was an intern in the Litigation Bureau of the Office of the New York State Attorney General and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Additionally, while in law school, Ms. Robertson was selected as an Alexander Fellow and spent a semester serving as a full-time Judicial Intern to the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Robertson graduated from State University of New York at Binghamton, magna cum laude with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Law.  She earned her J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she served as Notes Editor of the Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal.

Prior to attending law school, Ms. Robertson worked on the campaign committee of Councilman John Liu, the first Asian American to be elected to New York City’s City Council.